I was asked by a lady in Starbucks, why I gave up my seat to a homeless woman.
Because I could, to quote George Clooney. She’s someone I often see at various Starbucks in the neighborhood. She never asks for anything…orders a tall coffee and doesn’t look all that homeless. I see her sometimes in front of a church on Lexington Avenue sitting quietly next to a sign that says in small letters…please help.
My heart opens for her.
This is what I have to say about compassion.
I’ve always had it instilled in me at an early age. My grandfather, who spent his life in service, taught me, that not everyone was blessed with shelter and food on their table.
It’s three years since I’ve lost much of my hearing heightening my compassion level to the peak of the Andes. I am not the person I used to be. I’ve been leveled, cut down to size, humbled to the point where I often can’t meet the gaze of another.
To be stripped of something so fundamental…a given since birth…like steering when you drive a car, is more than a little bewildering because everything you took for granted changes.
I can’t have a comfortable phone conversation anymore. Talking to me is hell on a wire. I send notes to people apologizing, knowing just how hard it is.
Please text, or email, I ask…but people forget and basically don’t care.
Because though for the grace of God go I? One can only hope.
It’s hasn’t happened to them. They don’t get how difficult it is, therefore have no patience for the likes of deaf you.
I recently lost a great job because they were calling me, and didn’t hear them. I apologized, came clean, and they said..oh it’s okay….we understand, and never called again. A lawsuit in the making, if it could only be proven. There is too much wiggle room to be had: oh…she’s unfortunately too old for what we need even though we like her so… she’s just not right…it’s not personal.
Yeah…jerk me off again why don’t you…but back to compassion.
I see others struggle. Whether it’s a blind person or someone with MS…the lady afraid to cross the street, or a woman sitting on a church step quietly asking for alms.
My heart that was pretty wide before, is now stretched like a wad of gum.
I often feel my life as I’ve known it, has been stolen from me. But then think, maybe it’s just been recycled into one that can do more good.
When I stop to help or offer my seat, I’m truly at my best. There’s no artifice to me showing up at my purest.
Is there not a grace in that?
I can’t help wondering.
Where the fuck is Helen Keller when you need a few pointers?